General Motors should provide an update on the progress of its Cruise Automation program and its goal to launch its own self driving taxi service shortly.
With the 2019 deadline fast approaching and the money making potential of geo-fenced autonomous vehicles being called into doubt, Wall Street is eager to learn more about the company’s anticipated rollout this year. GM CEO Mary Barra reassured investors the program is seeing success in its Q1 2019 earnings call this week and said to expect an update on its progress later this year.
“I think you’ll see updates later this year. And just from an overall, again, we are very pleased and — with where we’re at from a continuing rate of progress,” she said.
The automaker is also still aiming to launch a completely driverless AV – despite the future legality of such AVs being unclear. Some believe it will be better to launch AVs with safety drivers in them, especially when the technology is still in its infancy.
“Let me remind everybody that we have changed 40% of the components in the vehicle understanding what it takes to have true safety systems in the vehicle when you don’t have a driver, along with the fact that we’re doing our testing in one of the most complex environments in the United States. And so when you put that together that’s what gives us confidence that we’ve got a very strong position,” Barra said.
Barra did acknowledge that safety-related problems and safety regulations will hinder the technology’s advancement, however. She also said there is still “much more to do” in order to take the cost out of AV technology in order to launch it en masse and “create that multitrillion-dollar market potential.”
Despite roadblocks related to safety, regulation and money-making potential, GM is powering forward with AVs faster than ever, confident that the tech can change the world.
“We think the path that we’re on and the way in which we’re developing this technology is critical,” Barra added.